Tag: architecture (Page 1 of 3)
“Texas stands peerless amid the mighty, and her brow is crowned with bewildering magnificence! This building fires the heart and excites reflection in the minds of all.” – Senator Temple Houston
One of the most highly rated attractions in Austin is the Texas State Capitol. The Capitol Building is modeled after the US Capitol Building in Washington, just like the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing. Being that this is not uncommon for state capitols, I didn’t understand the appeal of Texas State Capitol before I laid eyes on it. The exterior is made of beautiful, local, red granite and contains 360,000 square feet of floor space, more than any other state capitol. The building is 302 feet tall making it taller than the US Capitol. Why? Because everything is bigger in Texas.
I had not planned to visit the capitol building until we drove by it on our tour of the city. I have seen the US Capitol. I have been inside the Michigan State Capitol. They are all the same right? I was really wrong there! This building is bigger than you can imagine. It is an impressive building and has be seen to be understood.
Built in 1888, the rotunda is decorated with a portrait gallery featuring the Presidents of the Republic of Texas and Texas Governors. Sitting on 22 acres, there are many important statues and monuments on the Capitol grounds. Guided tours are offered every day departing about every 30-45 minutes. For more information about tours, visit tspb.texas.gov.
Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the desert, I think of snow. No? You don’t? Well, my first experience in the desert was 2 days of rain then driving north to discover several feet of snow. I was excited to experience dry heat on this trip and it felt exactly the same as the air feels in Michigan. For an area called Desert View, this, while still beautiful, was not the landscape I was expecting, even in February.
The Desert View Watchtower (below) is the man made landmark of this part of the park. Built in 1932 by architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, it is meant to replicate towers in other southwestern cities. The tower was built to blend in with its surroundings. Colter herself described it as “One that would create no discordant note against the time-eroded walls of this promontory…The color and texture of this weathered surface rock naturally matched our terrain as none other could, but we were at the necessity of using it in just the shape it was found, as any tool mark became a conspicuous scar on the face of our walls. So we were obliged to select carefully for size and shape every unit of stone built into our masonry.” (NPS)
Climbing the watchtower affords great views of the canyon and the surrounding landscape. The interior of the tower on the first floor is decorated with paintings by a Hopi artist. Paintings on higher floors are replicas of those found in other southwestern sites. The paintings help get you in the mind set up the people who lived in the places many years ago. I imagine if you visit in the summer months, the watchtower gets very crowded, but it was relatively empty on this cold, snowy February day.
Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
For my husband’s birthday we were given a membership to the Detroit Institute of Arts. Since then, we have taken three trips to the museum and it is very interesting to look at these famous works of art through the eyes of a photographer. So often, as photographers we have heard these rules about composition (rule of thirds anyone?) and lighting (no harsh shadows, EVER!) but when you look at paintings that are hanging on the wall in a famous museum, you see that if you break these rules, that is OK!
Yes, there are paintings that depict magic hour and dramatic sunsets, but more of them show blue skies, puffy clouds, and mid-day shadows. I have even seen some portraits with a shadow on the subject’s face. You post a photo like that in a photography group on Facebook, and watch out, you are going to hear about it! What is my point? Don’t get bogged down by all of these photography “rules” . Do visit an art museum and study the works of art. Discover what it is that makes them good enough to be hanging in a museum. Most importantly, get out there and shoot! Don’t let these “rules” make you lose your inspiration!
If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
The Fisher Building, located in Detroit’s New Center district and is known as “Detroit’s largest art object”. Right when I walked in the door, it became obvious how it received that title. This Albert Kahn (the architect who did the Guardian Building and the Belle Isle Aquarium and who is known as
The Architect of Detroit”) designed marvel is full of marble from all over the world, high, painted ceilings, and accented with brass and bronze. It features 1,800 bronze window and 641 bronze elevator doors. The ceilings in the arcade feature frescoes that were hand painted and at the time cost $20,000 (which would be about $265,000 in today’s money)! The exterior of this masterpiece is made up of over 325,000 square feet of marble and is the largest marble structure in the world! Somehow, it took only 15 months to complete and the building opened its doors to Detroit in 1928.
In later decades when Detroiters moved to the suburbs, the Fisher building was able to keep tenants because of its dedicated 1,100 spot parking garage, the first of its kind! Over the years, the building has changed hands several times because it is not cheap to run. In 1970, The Detroit Free Press wrote that the Fisher and the neighboring New Center Building cost $3.1 million a year to operate (Historic Detroit)! The building was most recently purchased along with the nearby Albert Kahn Building (previously known as the New Center Building) in 2015 for $12.2 million (Detroit Free Press). The new owner is reportedly putting $100 million into restoring these gems to their former glory! About the Fisher Building, Developer Peter Cummings said “It is more than just a beautiful building or a landmark; it is a beacon in the heart of Detroit for all of Detroit. It is the beacon of our city, both of its past and its future,” (Crain’s Detroit)
If you are in Detroit, and I advise that everyone should be at some point, definitely make a visit to the Fisher Building. On weekends, the Pure Detroit store in the lobby runs free, historical tours that are definitely worth the time!
Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Just outside of Williamsburg, on the Colonial Parkway, lies the Yorktown Battlefield. In 1781, The Americans and their French allies surrounded the British by land and sea. The British were significantly outnumbered and after three weeks of battle, General Cornwalis surrendered to General Washington. The Battle of Yorktown marked a major win for the colonists in the American Revolution and was the last of the major battles of the war. The Moore House, above, was where the two sides met to negotiate the terms of surrender. During the surrender, General Washington refused to grant the British the traditional honors of war (marching out with flags flying, bayonets fixed, and bands playing) because a year before the British had denied the Americans the same after the battle of Charleston.
Now that you’ve had your daily dose of American History, lets talk about visiting Yorktown. When you arrive at the visitor center, they tell you about Ranger-led programs, a video you can watch, and other ways you can explore the battlefield and learn about the history. We made the mistake of doing all of it. That may not sound bad, but between the video, the costumed reenactor, and the driving tour I felt like I had heard the story a million times. I really appreciated the costumed reenactor (I believe he was Thomas Nelson, the Governor of Virginia after Thomas Jefferson returned to Monticello) and I feel like I got the most out of that. The driving tour is nice if you want to actually see the sites, but, unless you have a love of cheesy acting, I would skip the movie.
Don’t miss next week’s post where I take you to Jamestowne! Thanks for stopping by! To plan your visit to Yorktown, visit the National Park Service. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.
This past weekend, we headed to The D for the first Pure Detroit Skyscraper Tour of the season. The tour starts at the Guardian Building (a view of the interior of the building can be seen below) which is an Art Deco marvel unlike anything I had ever seen before. From there the tour guide, who is a historic preservationist and urban planner, takes you around several blocks and tells you about the history of skyscrapers and architecture in Detroit. It was interesting learning about the history of the city from original 1701 Detroit settlement to the Renaissance Center, or as our tour guide like to call it, GM’s Galactic World Headquarters,. The building pictured to the left is one of the newest buildings featured on the tour, One Detroit Center, which was completed in 1993 and is the second tallest building in Michigan (second only to the Renaissance Center). The best thing about this tour? Its free! Pure Detroit offers this tour as well as tours of the Guardian Building and Fischer Building that are free and open to the public every Saturday and Sunday. Visit PureDetroit.com for times and for more information. I’m making it a goal to go back and do a tour of the Fischer Building this summer.
The downside to doing a skyscraper tour is that is was hard to get a good shot because everything around us was so, well, tall. And, the few shots I got inside the Guardian Building didn’t really turn out because I had my aperture too wide so one point is in focus while the rest of is fuzzy and while that is great for portraiture, it doesn’t look right in architecture photography. The photo above was actually taken with my iPhone. I will have to go back to the Guardian Building and try it again with different settings.
During our recent visit to Traverse City, I was excited to check out The Grand Traverse Commons which is home to many unique shops and restaurants. You can tell from this photo that The Grand Traverse Commons is not your typical shopping center. It used to be the Northern Michigan Asylum. Many of the hospital’s old buildings have been demolished, but a few of them remain and have been preserved and revitalized into the Grand Traverse Commons. The former building 50 is the centerpiece of the complex and houses The Mercato in the basement. It is fascinating navigating the twists and turns of the old building to see it all. The architecture is fascinating! We really need to get back to making buildings like this! The old hospital is said to be haunted and you can even take a ghost tour.
Both of these photos were single RAW exposures taken with my iPhone 7 and edited in Lightroom Mobile. I believe the bottom, exterior photo was taken with the new HDR function. At first I couldn’t find HDR mode, but its not in pro mode. It is now a third option: Pro, Auto, and HDR.
Thanks for stopping by! For more information about Grand Traverse Commons visit, TheVillageTC.com. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.